Hi, I have access to some oak for fire wood. It has english and posion ivy on it. I have pulled the vines off but the small root hairs from the posion ivy remain on the bark. This would be used next winter. Will it be ok to burn? I don't want any posion ivy smoke to cause problems. Anybody have experience with this ?
It depends largely on how you're burning the wood. If your system isn't going to smoke back inside your house, I'd say you're probably fine. If your system might have draught and draw issues until it gets going, I would advise starting with something else.
If you're burning out in the open, outside, I would stay out of the path of the smoke.
Realistically, I would expect the concentrations of the effective essential oils in the poison ivy root hairs to be fairly low, though. The itching is the plant's defense mechanism against being eaten, and I think that it's mostly concentrated in the leaves. At least, any time I've observed the plant, it's the leaves that have the shiny coating, and not so much the rest of the plant.
But not knowing for sure, and not wanting to necessarily do a skin test (which you could do, but maybe use someone else? jk), I would err on the side of caution.
But let us know how it goes, and good luck!
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The worst case of poison ivy Ive had came from burning the vines in a brush pile. I was a kid and it looked like 3rd degree burn on my face. The urushiol is in the sap, and is viable for up to 100 years. Generally you should be able to touch undisturbed leaves or vines, but if they are crushed or disturbed they release sap. Ive had it so many times I've actually developed a tolerance. I would say burn at your own risk, in a good hot fire, however I would take into account where the smoke will go downstream.
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